Fionn Regan will release his forthcoming album The Shadow Of An Empire in early 2010.
If Irish singer-songwriter Fionn Regan's The End of History was the sound of the countryside and woodland lanes, this record is the sound of towns and dimly lit streets; heartfelt and with a ragged edge. He has ploughed himself a new furrow.
It was during a period of great global upheaval, whilst touring his debut album for two years worldwide, and in particular across America, as Fionn puts it “seeing the world, the bone structure, the pulp” that he began work on its follow up. It seems natural that his response was to become more outward looking “as a writer you hold up a mirror, its reflections become the work” and in The Shadow of an Empire this manifests itself in a collection of songs that are peopled with characters and conversational dialogue. The often witty vignettes are used to facilitate more complex soul-searching.
On the subject of influence, Fionn describes it as “hard to quantify, I wrote these songs from the page up, on an Olympia portable, the idea being that the words would stand up on their own. I think the percussive nature of typing informed the phrasing. I was reading a lot of Welsh, French and American poets, I started to explore Brecht, Mahagonny in particular, I have always loved Kerouac…, then I admire visual artists like Joseph Beuys, Basquiat and Francis Bacon equally. All these people switch the light bulb on, make me connect back to my work”
The album was self-produced (as was the case with the 2007 Mercury Prize nominated The End of History) and recorded in a small, disused factory space in Fionn’s hometown in Co. Wicklow, Ireland “There were no airs or graces about it, we cut live in the room, live vocals… the piano had come off a cruise ship and we wheeled it down the road…the guy who sold it to us threw a couple of cheap Silvertone guitars and a circus drum into the bargain. As far a production goes…I’m very much into keeping mistakes, a crack in the voice, the natural ebb and flow of live drums, so that there’s a sort of evidence of the process… I think it’s that atmosphere which makes me want to revisit my favourite albums again and again”